Two-time MIAC Tennis Athlete-Of-The-Week this season, Sophomore Management and Communications major Michaela Schulz has shown a strong streak. The women’s tennis team is currently undefeated in the MIAC along with University of St. Thomas.
Schulz is currently ranked #4 in singles, and ranked #3 in doubles with Lizzy Stanczyk in the MIAC.
Junior Spanish Education major Lizzy Stanczyk was named MIAC Athlete-Of-The-Week in March, with a 16-4 record in this season so far.
“The best part of my individual season this year has definitely been doubles, and a lot of that has to deal with having the opportunity to play with Michaela. We’ve clicked really well on and off the court, which can be difficult to find in a doubles partner,” Stanczyk said.
She’s found rhythm with Schulz in doubles play, becoming very successful.
“Michaela is an extremely positive asset as a doubles partner and an overall teammate on the court because she pushes herself and all of us —she goes after every single ball and encourages us to do the same. I know she will never give up. She’s also huge in our team chemistry off the court because she’s so caring and expresses interest in everyone’s individual needs,” Stanczyk said.
Schulz has proven why she is currently ranked No. 12 individually in the Central Region and helped solidify the Gusties’ reputation as a top-tier squad in the nation.
“I’ve been working on my overall mental-toughness on the court and really focusing more on myself on what I can bring to the team and bring to practice every day; that’s been helping me grow and get better by seeing my teammates improve with me as well. We have grown so much together as a team this year; it’s helped me individually stay focused and wanting to improve for the team,” Schulz said.
Schulz was also selected as the Gustavus Adolphus March Female Student-Athlete-of-the-Month, as selected by the Gustavus Sports Information Department. She is 9-6 in singles play and 10-5 in doubles play this season.
“We have done a really good job this year at making connections with each other. The work ethic is amazing; we all want to work hard, we all want to make each other better, we all want to push each other,” Schulz said.
During Spring Break, the women’s tennis team traveled to Madison, WI to the Midwest Invitational tournament going against high-ranked Division II teams.
Schulz and Stanczyk went 3-1 in doubles, with Schulz finishing 1-3 in singles. Three of her matches were against top-10 regionally ranked opponents, and three went to third-set tiebreakers.
“It’s been a good year. Our schedule early on was purposely set up so that we would be challenged. We played a lot of Division I teams. Those experiences have really made our team grow and put us in a good position to at least be in the discussion of winning the conference championships,” Head Coach Jon Carlson said.
They are currently in the MIAC, undefeated 8-0. Overall, they are 13-12.
“Michaela has played very well for us this year. The great thing about her is she’s constantly learning and trying to improve, whether it is her mental game or her strokes…she’s focused on improvement and has really grown as a player,” Carlson said.
The Women’s Gustavus tennis team is not the only team currently undefeated in the MIAC. They are going head to head with St. Thomas University this Saturday. This match is crucial in their standings in the MIAC.
“We focus on the next matches we have; I know the conference playoffs are after this upcoming weekend, but we are more just focusing on the next match and that’s what’s been helping us prioritize,” Carlson said.
This Saturday, April 25, the Gusties travel to St. Paul to face the Tommies at 4 p.m. On Sunday, they host the College of Saint Benedict at noon. Make sure to support their two last games before playoffs.